After taking care of in-house business all offseason, the Eagles dipped their collective toe into the free-agent market by addressing the safety position, agreeing to terms on a three-year deal with former New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins.
"Malcolm is someone we've had our eye on for quite a while," said general manager Howie Roseman. "He has been a productive player his entire football career, both in New Orleans and at Ohio State. Everything you hear about Malcolm as a person is true. He was a two-time defensive captain with the Saints and is a high character player. We are excited to add a guy like that to the culture we have established here."
Jenkins, the 14th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, has started 63 games in his five-year career. Originally a cornerback, Jenkins made the move to safety in 2010 and has been a difference-maker ever since, also contributing when necessary as a slot cornerback. Jenkins was also a defensive captain for New Orleans in each of the last two seasons.
"We really liked Malcolm's versatility," said head coach Chip Kelly. "He can line up at either safety spot, can come in and make a tackle and can play man-to-man as well. I had a chance to study him on tape leading up to the playoff game and really liked what I saw. He's a sharp kid and is ultra-competitive. We are really happy to have him in Philadelphia."
Over his career, Jenkins has six interceptions, six forced fumbles, 4.5 sacks and three defensive touchdowns. In 2013, he recorded 68 total tackles in 14 games, adding two interceptions, six passes defended, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. In 2010, his first season at safety, Jenkins received second-team All-Pro honors.
The move comes shortly after the team announced the return of punter Donnie Jones on a three-year deal and the release of safety Patrick Chung, who was signed last offseason.
Jenkins becomes the third safety on the Eagles roster, joining 2013 fifth-round pick Earl Wolff and first-year player Keelan Johnson.
"They told me I was No. 1 on their list," Jenkins said to Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "As soon as the free agency period opened, they contacted my agent immediately. They wanted to do something fairly quickly. It's a good deal for me and my family. I think I'm in a good situation with the scheme of the defense and with what direction the team is going."
In addition to his contributions on the field, Jenkins has helped make a positive impact in the Greater New Orleans community since entering the league. In 2010, Jenkins launched the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation to assist the lives of local youths, particularly those in underserved communities, by providing resources, opportunities and experiences that will help them succeed in life. Jenkins was the 2013 winner of the John Wooten Professional Leadership Award, which recognizes a lifetime commitment to service and unparalleled leadership on and off the field.
A four-year letterman at Ohio State, Jenkins was a consensus All-American as a senior in 2008 and was honored with the Jim Thorpe Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top defensive back in the country. An All-Big Ten selection in each of his final three years in Columbus, Jenkins totaled 196 stops, 11 interceptions, 18 passes defensed, three blocked punts and four forced fumbles during his collegiate career.
A native of Piscataway, NJ, Jenkins helped lead Piscataway High School to three consecutive state titles while playing wide receiver and defensive back.
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